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Pea Frittata with Mint and Yogurt

Food always photographs wonderfully in sunlight.

In this case, it is hazy, lazy, beach weekend sunlight filtering through bungalow blinds. Weekends away with friends is a great opportunity to bust out those brunch recipes that always sound so appealing, but are way too much food for just two. This is one of those quick and easy dishes that takes little effort, but tastes much more complex than its few parts.

This is also another recipe pulled from memory, the original being from famed Argentinian chef Francis Mallmann. Several years ago, I had the pleasure of lunching at his restaurant, 1884, just outside of Mendoza and smack-dab in the middle of sun-dappled wine country. I remember having a lip-smackingly good bottle of Escorihuela Viognier that was so yummy I had to run to the tasting room and buy a bottle to take home. Like all of Argentina, the vineyard was perfumed with the intoxicating smell of wood-smoke and grilled steak.

Mallmann recommends that this frittata (or as he prefers tortilla) be baked in a wood-fired oven too. Alas, our cute little rental lacked that Argentinian mainstay, so we made do with a gas stove and its broiler.

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons unsalted butter or olive oil

1/2 pound frozen baby peas (or fresh if you are so lucky to find fat peas in pods to shell)

3/4 cup plain Greek-style yogurt, plus an extra cup to serve on the side if you wish

12 large eggs

1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh mint

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

How to prepare:

1. Preheat the broiler. In a large, ovenproof, nonstick skillet or shallow pan, melt the butter or heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the peas and cook over moderate heat until warm.

2. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, beat 3/4 cup of the yogurt with the eggs, mint, salt and pepper until smooth. Pour the eggs over the peas and turn up the heat. Cook over moderately high heat until the bottom and the edges start to set, about 3-4 minutes. Transfer the pan to the oven and broil 6 inches from the heat, until the top of the frittata is set and lightly golden in spots. Slide the frittata onto a plate (or just serve it from the pan as I did) cut into wedges with the remaining 1 cup of yogurt on the side.

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